CASTLEMARTYR secured top seeding in the Co-op SuperStores Cork Lower IHC with a resounding victory over Ballymartle on Sunday.
While the East Cork side were already guaranteed top spot in Group B and their opponents could only finish fourth, Castlemartyr had the incentive of trying to secure a semi-final spot and they did that with a 5-28 to 0-7 win at Rostellan.
The winners, who led by 3-13 to 0-4 at half-time, had a hat-trick of goals from Jack McGann while Mike Kelly scored 1-9 with Brian Lawton accounting for 1-3. Ciarán Joyce, Eoghan Martin and Mike Cosgrave all impressed for them.
St Catherine’s also progressed to the semi-finals as they made it a 100 percent record in Group C by beating Dripsey by 1-17 to 1-12 at Watergrasshill. Shane O’Brien’s points held Catherine’s to lead by 0-8 to 1-4 at half-time, Michael O’Riordan getting the Dripsey goal from a penalty.
While three Eoghan Maher points helped Dripsey to stay in touch in the second half, Ben O’Brien’s second-half goal made the game safe for Catherine’s. Their goalkeeper Eoin Davis contributed two points from frees as well as putting in a good display in his primary role.
Also topping their group were Russell Rovers, who beat Barryroe by 8-18 to 1-12 in Passage in Group A. The Shanagarry/Ballycotton side had goals from two goals each from Chris Ruddy, Josh Beausang and Brian Hartnett, with Jack McGrath and Luke Duggan Murray also netting.
That 27-point win meant Rovers took top spot ahead of Kilbrittain, who finished level with them on four points. The West Cork side, who like Rovers had drawn twice before this final round, were 0-22 to 0-10 winners against Ballygarvan in Bandon.
Maurice Sexton scored 12 points for Kilbrittain while Philip Wall and Morgan Madden contributed three each with Paudie Brennan, Mark Hickey and Ross Cashman on target too. Mark Kennefick contributed nine of the Ballygarvan points.
Kilbrittain take the fifth seeding for the knockout stage, edged out by Group C runners-up Tracton, whose scoring difference was one point better, but it essentially makes little difference as the sides will be playing each other in the quarter-finals.
Tracton saw off Grenagh by 5-12 to 2-13 in Ballincollig. The victors had goals from Joe Kingston (two), Alan Kiely, John Good and Mark Byrne with Ronan Walsh scoring seven points. Seán Bourke scored 1-8 for Grenagh with Séamus Cronin getting 1-1.
The sixth knockout place is taken by Milford. They went into their final game with St Finbarr’s level on two points, knowing that the winner would advance, but the game in Castletownroche finished in a 1-14 each draw, with Milford progressing thanks to a better scoring difference. Brian Murphy scored 1-6 for Seán O’Gorman’s side.
Quarter-finals: Russell Rovers v Milford, Kilbrittain v Tracton
Semi-finals: Castlemartyr v Kilbrittain/Tracton, St Catherine’s v Russell Rovers/Milford
Relegation play-off: Barryroe v Ballymartle